By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
Welcome to the second half of 2012. All that stuff you were going to get done in the first half of the year? Time to adjust your do-list.
The Southeastern Conference has knocked out most of its do-list:
Win sixth football national title in a row? Check.
Win another men’s NCAA basketball title? Check.
Win a couple more outdoor track titles? Check and check.
Win another College World Series? Well, half a check.
Get the top three players in the NBA Draft? Check, check and check.
Make it rain at the spring meeting in Destin, Fla., with $20.1 million for each member? Twelve great big checks.
Push for a real college football playoff – check.
Introduce two new members – Missouri and Texas A&M? Check and check.
As of this morning, the SEC’s membership consists of what we might call a Slive’s Dozen, 14 teams in 10 states. The fact that Texas and Missouri aren’t really what you’d call “Southeastern” states, well that’s just a pesky detail. After all, the Big 12 doesn’t have 12 teams and the Big Ten doesn’t have 10 teams and the Big East … will soon include Memphis. Enough said about that.
For the record, everyone will say great things about adding two new SEC members. Privately, there may be some second guessing.
Did the SEC need to expand to help kick-start the national football playoff plan that begins in 2014? No, the league was pushing that idea long before the idea of expansion ever cropped up.
Does adding Missouri’s big media markets boost the league? Maybe. But does anybody think the league was underexposed nationally?
Does adding Texas A&M “open up” Texas for football recruiting? Maybe. But were there Texas Rangers stopping SEC recruiters at the border before today? “Show us your papers,” please? Um, no; Alabama had a handful of Texas players on its 2011 national championship roster.
What adding these particular schools will do is make a very competitive league even more so – great news, unless you have a team in the league basement in your particular sport, In that case, the road to the top just got a lot tougher.
And that, my friends, will make a lot of other do-lists just that much longer.
John L. Pitts (firstname.lastname@example.org) is sports editor of the Daily Journal.